Review: In-ear noise canceling
A few days ago, I received a Huawei FreeBuds 3 sample, and since they are the company’s first noise-canceling earbuds, I wanted to post it after the first flight. Naturally, I decided to write this piece during a short, two-hour European flight.
FreeBuds 3 are the company’s third iteration of Bluetooth powered earbuds and are unique as they come with an in-house designed Bluetooth and noise-canceling Kirin A1 chip. These are the first earbuds from Huawei with noise-canceling support. Apple just came out with AirPods PRO with noise-canceling support, naturally at a higher price. So, you could argue that FreeBuds 3 are targeting Air Pods 2, as they have a similar format.
The noise-canceling tech makes FreeBuds 3 unique, at least when it comes to an OEM earbud offering from Android phone manufacturers.
The package includes a charging case, a tiny user manual, and a USB Type-C cable. It is quite rewarding that FreeBuds 3 ship with a wireless charging case, and of course the company’s flagship Huawei P30 Pro and Mate 30 support wireless charging. In practice, while traveling and using the earbuds, wireless charging proves to be a very useful feature.
Dental floss case design
The design of the case resembles a slightly larger dental floss case. However, the Apple Airpod case looks like a squared dental floss case, so we should not worry about the design too much - it is what it is. The case is magnetic, and the earbuds will slide into their designated place. The case has one button that helps you pair the device. Pairing with Huawei phones will be seamless. They will appear in the same manner as Apple Airpods would on a nearby iPhone.
The LED inside lights up when paring and can be green or white, while the LED outside will show you the charge state of the case depending on the color.
The promised battery life of 12 hours with case and four hours of battery for the earbuds is not far from the truth. I managed to get about 3.5 hours with 60 and occasionally 70 percent volume. Bear in mind that the volume will affect the battery life, and the same is true for noise cancellation.
The earbuds have double-tap controls that can be changed in the app.